TULUM-INAUGHTY AND HOTEL ENCANTADA
A conversation with the co-owner of the Flaunt-loved eco-resort.
When it comes to the dance floor, we at Flaunt are irrefutable devotees of the drop, aficionados of the attack, and connoisseurs of the can-can, the cha-cha, and in the company of our fashionable pals, by any means necessary: the Charleston. Knowing this, do you think we’re liable to sit, shackled to our desks here in Hollywood all week while the sexy, sweaty thrums of international electronic enthusiasts flock to the sparkling Mayan Riviera and start Snapchatting us picto-tales of their sonic tomfoolery? Pshaw! Not a chance.
Thus, a straight shot to the dance festival known as BPM, and its veritable anchor: Day Zero, happening this weekend. A bombastic array of savory grooves curated by the one and only Damian Lazarus of Crosstown Rebels. We, of course, take annual Gold at this freak fest in the jungle outside Playa Carmen.
When we emerge from the jungle like sun-kissed warriors of the Mayan apocalypse, a new friend of intimate acquaintance (or even two!) on our arm, where to collapse? To recover? To canoodle? To aromatherapeutically return to our true, high-earning selves? Hotel Encantada, obviously; a charming boutique property in neighboring Tulum that’s recently undergone a Hollywood-approved face lift. And in a destination that’s been altogether swamped with herds of snowbirds and fashionistas gone rogue, Encantada considers its nomenclature and paves the star-lit stretch of coast it occupies with, but of course, love, the results of which are spelled out in hospitable excellence. We chewed a bit of fat with the gentlemanly cool Sven Sommer, a partner in the property’s revamp, while his pal stirred up a cocktail tasting, a breeze lent a coupled kiss on our neck aside that of our lover, and a magical sea turtle birthing went down on the shores.
What do you feel is the definitive touch Encantada offers amongst other hotel properties in Tulum?
We pride ourselves in the customized service approach we take to each guest’s stay. All of our employees are locals and more than half are Mayan natives. We feel that having local employees will protect the integrity of the hotel and provide a true Mexican/Mayan experience to our guests.
What has drawn you to Tulum as an entrepreneur?
Besides the unique beauty of the area, we fell in love with the energy of Tulum. By energy we not only mean the light and color of the water in combination with the lush green of the jungle, but also the energy from creative investors that are collaborating right now in the city. We wanted a hospitality project on the beach, and Tulum was the perfect fit as it offers a great balance of nature, holistic practices, and spiritual energy. I think we have the opportunity and, at the same time, the challenge to keep intact a paradise and to protect something unique that is becoming very hard to find in the western hemisphere.
What are the qualities of the perfect Encantada guest?
We are obviously happy to accommodate everyone, however, I think the best fit for Encantada are the travelers coming to Tulum in search of a more “traditional” experience. By this I mean the guests that are coming to disconnect, reconnect with each other, recharge, re-energize, and be inspired by the nature and that appreciate true local style with service that is provided by our staff, our family that works together. We don’t play loud music late, we don’t have a beach bar, and we do not allow kids under 12 years old. We want to be the ultimate sanctuary within Tulum.
You mentioned you were meeting with some architects and designers this month. What’re the plans there? Can you say who you’ll be working with?
We are still waiting on two proposals from a great Mexican architect’s firm. The guidelines we have given the architects are as follows: we do not want to expand on rooms, we want to play with lighting and landscaping to create more of a romantic atmosphere and privacy, we want the lush jungle to permeate through the building, and we want to create a greater variety of seating on the beach. We are open to changing the entrance of the hotel including the parking, seating and reception, as well, but we don’t think we need nor want to change much at this point.